England's Michael Owen announces retirement

London, Mar 19 (EFE).- Michael Owen, who scored 40 goals in 89 appearances with the English national team, announced Wednesday that he will retire from professional soccer at the end of the Premier League season.

"I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career," the 33-year-old said on his Web site. "I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of."

Owen, England's No. 4 scorer in international competition, also chalked up 220 goals in club play for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United and his current team, Stoke City.

He was still in his teens when he grabbed the spotlight with a crucial goal for England in a 1998 World Cup knockout match against archrival Argentina.

During eight years with Liverpool, Owen scored 158 goals, including both tallies in the Reds' 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the 2001 FA Cup Final.

Liverpool also won the Premier League title and the UEFA Champions League title in 2001 and Owen was honored as Europe's player of the year.

Owen racked up impressive numbers despite a string of injuries that started in 1999.